Stairon calculates its CO2 emissions and takes action to reduce them

Stairon laskee C02-päästöt. Kuvassa staironlaisia neuvottelupöydän ääressä.

Stairon calculates its CO2 emissions and creates an action plan to reduce them. At the same time, Stairon will also boost the monitoring and reporting of its customers’ emissions.

Industry plays an important role in achieving Finland’s carbon neutrality targets by 2035. For example, direct emissions from the technology industry account for 7% (2019) of all Finland’s emissions and 45% of Finland’s energy needs.

Many industrial companies are already monitoring and taking measures to reduce their own emissions.
“Although the actual legal obligation for emission calculations and other responsibility reporting has not yet been specified for SMEs, it already applies extensively to our industry and most of our customers,” says Timo Kylä-Nikkilä, CEO of Stairon.

Stairon has listened carefully to its customers’ plans and needs in terms of reducing emissions. During autumn 2022, Stairon launched its own process related to emission calculations and reductions.
“We are an important part of our customers’ supply chain. If we set our own emissions targets at least in line with their targets, we will also help them to reach their own targets,” says Kylä-Nikkilä.

Outlining the guidelines during January

Stairon’s emissions calculation is carried out with a Finnish partner, Nordic Offset. Emissions are currently being calculated for 2021, and the calculation for 2022 will be completed by the end of January 2023.

Kylä-Nikkilä praises Nordic Offset’s comprehensive climate responsibility expertise and extensive networking with the operators in the field.
“The work is also facilitated by the overall service provision which means that, in addition to the results and the action plan, we can also use their networks and expertise to reliably compensate for emissions that cannot yet be directly influenced by our own reduction measures,” he says.

“Although our own measures are, naturally, prioritised in the fight against climate change, the pursuit of carbon neutrality will also require us to compensate.”

Making the benefits of actions visible through data

Emissions are largely caused by the production of raw materials and energy used in industry. Steel production is one of the most significant sources of emissions globally.
“In recent years, certain steel producers have taken significant leaps in, for example, fossil-free steel production technology. These practices will hopefully be available for wider use in the next few years,” Kylä-Nikkilä estimates.

“Environmental issues and emission management will be emphasised in the future. We want to be at the forefront of reducing the environmental impact of our industry.”

Timo Kylä-Nikkilä

For a long time, Stairon has been implementing energy efficiency measures through the existing environmental management system, with the aim of reducing waste by optimising raw materials and carefully recycling all material fractions.
“However, there has been no comprehensive measurement of emissions. In the future, we will know more about the impacts of the measures and be able to focus on the measures that have an impact.

We have committed ourselves to being prepared to make investments when the pursuit of carbon neutrality requires them,” Kylä-Nikkilä promises.

Sulbana is not looking for the cheapest, 
but the most viable partner

In the food industry, hygiene alone sets very high-quality standards for the equipment. Expertise is also measured in numerous moving parts, long trajectories requiring constancy of size, both in rust-resistant materials and thin material thicknesses. 

“I have strong confidence in the Stairon expertise. They fearlessly tackle even larger assemblies, which are usually difficult to get bids for,” praises Jarkko Kokko, Head of Productionat Sulbana Oy, a global supplier of innovative cheese-making equipment.

Large-scale cooperation for mutual benefit  

The partnership between Sulbana and Stairon began based on good references. The scope of supply has expanded over the years, from welding subcontracting all the way to component purchases and assemblies on a larger scale. 

“The first delivery that introduced me to Stairon dealt with large pressing plates for cheese moulds. These were followed by three salt pools, the largest of which measured 18x3x3 metres, and it was delivered to us complete,” recalls Kokko. 

Operating in Finland from Kauhajoki and Seinäjoki, Sulbana is now part of the German, family-owned Alpma Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cheese-making processes and equipment. 

“We are currently working on two cheese-mould stores. We provided Stairon with the production drawings, and they oversaw the work planning and procurement of materials. The stores, which are about six metres high, are also test-assembled at Stairon and then dismantled into segments for transport. This is an advantage as a customer, because the larger the assemblies we are able to purchase under one roof, the more our own workload is reduced.” 

From Finland to the world with high quality and on time 

Most of the equipment manufactured by Sulbana in Finland is exported. The largest markets are Central Europe and the United States, in addition to deliveries around the world from Japan to South America.

“The number one priority in cooperation is Stairon’s reliability, both in terms of quality and security of supply. Transports and installations, shipping from around the world, must be arranged well in advance, as they are very difficult and expensive to move. It is important that we can rely on the promised delivery time and that delays are communicated immediately rather than at the last minute, when it is difficult to do anything about it,” Kokko stresses. 

Similarly, at the Sulbana end, the aim is to keep response times as short as possible, so that workers at Stairon do not have to needlessly wait for information that could affect their work. 

“When things run smoothly, we work together to find solutions to any potential problems, rather than just saying ‘that’s your problem’. Communication and weekly reports with Stairon run as they should without having to tease out the information.” 

Equipment worth millions have their unique challenges 

Kokko has first-hand experience of the flexibility of Stairon. 

“Changes in delivery times or storage have always been well agreed upon. Once, even during a mid-week holiday, we finalised and checked a delivery together with Stairon’s project manager,” he says with a smile.

When seeking continuity in a partnership, the chosen supplier is not always the one with the lowest absolute price, but instead the most economically viable partner. The Sulbana equipment, worth millions, have their own unique challenges, which can only be understood through experience. 

“Our quality requirements always cause challenges for new suppliers, which is why we are looking for a long-term partner who knows our needs without having to constantly monitor them. I also appreciate Stairon’s interest in developing as a supplier and their willingness to offer a more advanced product than just a welding assembly. For example, with work planning coming from Stairon, we achieve much more value for the entire supply chain,” says Kokko. 

You don’t learn from problems by sweeping them under the rug

Confidence in skills comes from Stairon’s strong expertise in different areas of work. The fact is that complaints cannot always be avoided, but it requires skill to learn from them for the future. 

“Stairon has understood that quality does not only improve in offices, so they go through the negative issues internally, right through to production. As a customer, I have gained the impression that they genuinely strive to learn from any potential mistakes and not just sweep things under the rug.” 

Production Director Hannu-Pekka Peräntie at Stairon stands behind this trustworthy and open cooperation. 
“Cooperation with Sulbana has successfully taken us out of our comfort zone and challenged us to evolve. As a result, we are more prepared and also bolder in the face of new challenges,” he concludes.

In the picture: Simo Harju, Project Manager at Stairon, and Jarkko Kokko, Head of Productionat Sulbana Oy, observing the cheese-making store under fabrication. 

Would you like to read more references from our customers?
Catch, for example, the interview with Sandvik and the interesting Caligo in the current news.

Sandvik: ‘Stairon has strong references from the industry’

Sandvik Mining and Construction manufactures underground loading and transport equipment in their Turku factory with over 700 professionals. During the aftermath of COVID-19 at the beginning of the year 2021, the volume of orders reached its previous record – and so did the need for new partners. ‘Stairon is flexible and has premises that are easy to adapt to our needs, as well as strong references from the industry,’ says Sandvik’s production manager Esa-Pekka Kantola, who is responsible for the subcontracting of the final assembly. 

It is often thought that collaboration creates something new, but this time the goal is the opposite: Stairon’s task is to dismantle a brand-new machine that has arrived from Sandvik’s main factory, pack up the components and deliver them to the end customer. 

‘So far, Stairon has successfully disassembled six machines for us and reassembled one. Because underground mines don’t always have a ramp for vehicles to drive into the mine, the equipment must first be disassembled and then lowered by cranes into the shaft. It’s also vital for product testing and quality assurance to have the machine reassembled once at the factory,’ Mr Kantola clarifies. 

An adaptable and trustworthy partner

The opportunities to receive support for manufacture have been ideal for Sandvik when both companies operate in the same city. 

‘No one is ready to work in this profession straight from school – you have to be prepared to familiarise yourself with the details. I’ve noticed that the people at Stairon have applied skills they’ve gained from their time with Valmet and experience in handling large components.’ 

During the year of collaboration, there have been situations where the customer has suddenly changed, and the machine has had to be rebuilt. 

‘In this field, it’s necessary to have an absolutely flexible and adaptable partner who knows how to communicate what they are doing, how the project is proceeding, and if something changes along way. Trust and continuity are born of finishing work on time,’ Mr Kantola emphasises. 

Preparing and equipping for the future 

Stairon is currently working on finishing a reassembly and packing job that will be delivered to the customer in a few weeks. The volume of work Sandvik sends to Stairon has steadily increased. 

‘Courage, adaptability and a continuous hunger for learning are the cornerstones of being a successful industrial professional. Sandvik and Stairon’s modes of operation are a unique combination of these three traits. I thank our customer for their trust, and I have faith that our strong co-operation will continue,’ says Stairon’s sales manager, Antti Reivonen. During his career, he has also gained experience in the quality assessment and process development related to heavy mining machinery manufacture. 

Depending on the market situation, the shared goal for the future is to grow operations and make use of Stairon employees’ multiple skills in, for example, outfitting as well as rebuilding and manufacture. 

‘One of the best things about Stairon is that in addition to being flexible, they are goal-oriented and eager to work with us by developing their expert services on a long-term basis,” Esa-Pekka Kantola concludes. 

We believe there is a solution to every problem. That is why our service offering is wide and flexible.
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Stairon is more than a contract manufacturer to Caligo

Caligo Industria is a company that cleans flue gas and utilises waste heat produced in the energy and processing industry. They have been warming up their cooperation with Stairon for a long time. At the beginning of this year, they jumped straight into the deep end. There are three generating sets under way. Stairon oversees their manufacturing from start to finish.

“Stairon is a reliable and flexible partner. To me, not wasting time on moot points adds value. Stairon takes care of the welding installation and coordinates the whole project in a respectable manner,” summarises Oskari Salovaara, Operative Manager responsible for production and manufacturing at Caligo.

Partners consistently on the same page

Manufacturing one factory-tested flue gas scrubber unit requires a supply chain that takes months. As Caligo’s assembly facilities were at full capacity in this busy year, the large generating sets are built at the partner’s factory for the most part.

“Naturally, Stairon could supply us with machine parts when needed, and we have received them in small lots. Talking about long supply chains, it is extremely important that all parties have a clear goal and that they communicate their actual progress openly. Stairon has managed well in this respect, and the schedules have been relaxed or tightened as needed,” says Salovaara.

Praiseworthy structuring of work throughout the whole process

Caligo chose their partner partly based on the fact that Stairon has operated in the industry for a long time, and they are a proactive actor that knows how to boldly raise the bar. Cooperation with Stairon had been tested on a small scale already in 2014, when Salovaara started working at Caligo.

“As a customer, I would estimate that both the structuring of work and the technical side are on a reliable level at Stairon.” 

Rising to tomorrow’s challenges together

In the future, Salovaara expects a continuum of cooperation, open dialogue and expertise that spars both parties. It is also important for the schedules, costs and price level to stay in line.

“Cooperation with Caligo Industria has been a good and developing experience for Stairon. I refer not only to our commercial projects, but also to the competences accumulated in connection with them and the produced competitiveness. Caligo’s top-quality products and the best professionals in the field have taught us many things. In response, we work hard so that we can provide Caligo with significant competitiveness now and in the future,” concludes Antti Reivonen, Sales Manager at Stairon.

Are you interested in a cooperation relationship that is not satisfied with “this is how we have always done it”?
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12-year-old Stairon challenges the engineering industry with open-mindedness

Stairon 12 vuotta

Industrial service provider is a creative problem-solver

The word creativity is rarely associated with machine shop operation. The core of the industry is ironclad metal expertise, no question about it.  When creativity is viewed through problem-solving, we are already closer to what is expected of a modern industrial service provider. It is the ability to solve customer problems in an exceptional way.

Timo Kylä-Nikkilä, CEO of Stairon, is happy to shake the dusty image of the sector and challenge traditional ways of thinking. He believes that today’s successful mechanical workshop combines creativity, technology and service in its expertise.

“This has always been done” thinking must be forgotten and we must start looking for original solutions to customer problems, “says Kylä-Nikkilä.

The machine workshop’s traditional operating model is undergoing a change

As a result of the entrepreneurial change implemented at Stairon in 2019, the company has continued to develop and modernise its operations with the aim of being an industrial service provider that will solve the customer’s challenges and the most desirable partner in its sector.

– The competitiveness of Western companies is constantly in the spotlight. In global competition, the competitiveness of a common supply chain formed by all companies in the value chain is crucial. On our part we want to actively develop this integration in cooperation with the actors in the chain. One plus one must be more than two, says Kylä-Nikkilä.

– The development of a functional and cost-effective entity requires clear investments and will from both the supplier and the customer. Holding on to many traditions in the industry will deactivate and stifle activities, as priority is given to avoiding mistakes instead of bold solutions. This is exactly what Stairon wants to challenge and solve together with customers.

Stairon’s problem-solving ability is always based on strong expertise in industrial manufacture. Now the best practices are being developed at the cutting edge of technology, so to speak.

– In addition to the machine and equipment base, we have invested strongly in different information systems to support customer and supplier integration. Of course, the utilisation of digitalisation remains a huge potential throughout the supply chain – the development of data volume, speed and diversity is continuing.

Stairon guides young people to the field

The roots of Pansio-based Stairon go back to the 1960s. Since 2009, the Stairon name has been used since the Metso Paper Turku Works business deal. Over fifty years ago, the company focused on the design, manufacture and product development of air conditioning systems for paper machines. Stairon currently serves technology industry operators, who represent more than ten different industries.

According to Kylä-Nikkilä, the multidisciplinary nature and in-depth expertise of the activities are competitive advantages for Stairon. The strong expertise of the Pansio factory has succeeded in refining solutions for a wide range of industries, including the energy, mining, shipping and food industries.

According to Kylä-Nikkilä, the continuity of operations must be actively ensured. The image of the machine shop industry is not as streamlined as many others. The shabby workshop image should be adjusted to better reflect what everyday life currently predominantly is in the manufacturing industry. This is how the most talented young people are brought to the industry.

– The future lies with young people from educational institutions. Cooperation with educational institutions is a competitive advantage for us, and we will use it to ensure that we have also the best experts in the future.

There are also many experts in the machine shop industry who are about to retire in the next few years. By offering young people training and on-the-job learning opportunities, their experiences, learning and knowledge will gradually transfer to a new generation.

A modern company invests in digitalisation and responsibility

Stairon is increasingly managed through knowledge. Digitalisation and automation seek cost and resource efficiency and respond to future challenges. One of them is sustainable development. It is part of global development that does not ignore the engineering industry either.

– It’s important to identify megatrends. Environmental awareness and thus evolving requirements for resource efficiency, renewable energy and renewable raw materials. The growth, prosperity and education of the middle class in developing countries increase awareness and purchasing power. The consumer of the future is responsible and conscious. All these will ultimately also affect the activities of each industrial company directly or at least indirectly.

A lot has happened in twelve years of Stairon. And the pace of change is hardly slowing down. Kylä-Nikkilä emphasises that when a company calls itself a service company, it must also act accordingly. Often that means the courage to think differently. As when Stairon developed a method for servicing the internal surfaces of cruise ship exhaust pipes through rope work, enabling uninterrupted operation of vessels.

– The future Stairon wants to solve even difficult problems. Throw us a challenge! We are ready for this at Stairon, says Kylä-Nikkilä.

Stairon’s 12 years

  • More than 1500 implemented customer projects
  • Services for more than 100 industrial operators
  • Deliveries to over 50 countries
  • Equipment manufacturing for more than ten industrial sectors

Co-operation stemming from shared values

Co-operation with Vema

Vema Lift, a manufacturer of rescue lifts and rescue vehicles based in Kaarina Finland, and Stairon have worked together long-term and intensively in connection with products that require co-operation in manufacturing and product development. Stairon has claimed their position commendably. 

– Stairon can boast with robust expertise in industrial manufacturing, good understanding of the importance of quality and Finnish origins. We value these things greatly, Vema Lift says. 

Vema Lift’s history covers over 1,000 manufactured units delivered to 40 different countries. The company is now part of Nordic Rescue Group, together with Saurus Oy which manufactures rescue vehicles. A forward-looking company also demands a lot from their partners. 

– Our company manufactures and markets rescue lifts and vehicles worldwide. Naturally then, it is an unquestioned prerequisite that we can be certain of the quality of our products. Stairon has been a key supplier meeting these requirements for Vema Lift.

Partnership grows from openness for change

Without communication and openness for change, partnership cannot work as expected and in a forward-looking way. 

– Proactive approach to manufacturability related questions of our products has brought additional insights to support our design work. Straightforward communication on the part of Stairon’s professionals has been the key for effective co-operation.

Change is always present. Many devices which are in the product development phase still undergo changes during the manufacturing stage.

– Stairon always reacts to changes openly, Vema Lift summarises. 

– It has been exhilarating to see how extensively Vema Lift’s staff have participated and their open mindset for new proposals when presented with common challenges. Open business culture yields the best results, and I believe that is the case here too, Antti Reivonen, Sales Manager at Stairon, comments.

Learn more about Vema Lift, Nordic Rescue Group and their high-quality products at

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Co-operation from design to projects

Antti Mäntynen, Engineering Manager at Valmet Technologies Oy, has been working with Stairon’s resident employees on product improvement and manufacturing efficiency of air dryers for three years now. Sometimes the agenda has included design work, but also more and more project-related processes. 

– As someone who has gone through two development projects and many design initiatives together, I can tell that our co-operation is proactive and knowledgeable, Mäntynen says. 

At the beginning of our co-operation back in 2019, Stairon’s people immediately demonstrated their hands-on and active approach. Comments were not a scare resource and the targets were set high. 

–  People at Stairon want dialogue. They engage themselves actively at every stage of the project. Costs and scheduling are also communicated transparently, and the previously agreed on numbers are also something that stick and can be trusted, Mäntynen says. 

The value of co-operation increases when all parties understand the importance of transparency and appreciation. 

– We can achieve savings in everything when co-operation is carried out by listening to the opinions of those responsible at different stages of the project and keeping the big picture in mind during every moment, Mäntynen emphasises. 

Decisions reached during the design phase of a product have a major impact not only on the functionality of the product, but also on its manufacturability and, naturally, therefore also on manufacturing costs. 

– It has been great to see that Valmet has involved us in the development of products at an early stage, so that we can influence these decisions. This way we can manufacture together products that serve not only the customer but also their end customers, Stairon’s Planner Miika Pietilä comments. 

Pioneers in co-operation

– Certainly, co-operation is at its best when the customer trusts their supplier so much that they involve this into product development from the very first steps of the project. This also keeps the spirit and mind of production team fresh, and constantly challenges you to think and consider new methods of manufacturing. It feels an honour to participate in product development work of a leading company in its own field, tells Hannu-Pekka Peräntie, Production Director at Stairon. 

According to Mäntynen, smooth and seamless co-operation can also be expected in the future. 

–Stairon’s expertise can be clearly seen in how they take ownership of manufacturing technology and advanced welding robotics. Co-operation is smooth and competent.

During our years of co-operation, Mäntynen has been most positively surprised by the attitude of Stairon’s people – over and over again. 

– Level of commitment by Stairon’s people is truly exceptional. They show common ground and benefits, and certainly consider positive effects of co-operation for both parties. The way they operate is really professional.

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Developing mechanical engineering and production technology

Työnjohtaja Toni Kangas

Decades of experience and strong expertise in the workshops has convinced the former shipbuilder that Stairon has the keys to success. The new foreman believes in the power of development and shared expertise.

When young Toni Kangas found himself in a machine shop, he knew there was no turning back. He has always had a passion for mechanical engineering, which has guided him on his career path. He first spent 20 years working for ABB doing stamping and from there he joined the Meyer shipyard in Turku, first as a foreman and then as a development engineer. At the same time he acquired new skills from Turku University of Applied Sciences, from where he graduated as an engineer of mechanical engineering and production technology. He started as a foreman at Stairon in November 2020.

Toni Kangas is the first machine shop industry professional within his family, and right from the beginning what attracted him to the industry was the changing nature of the work.

“There’s a lot going on all the time. Interest remains high when you can influence the development of the industry”, Toni says.  

Toni Kangas

Development begins with a need

Toni, who describes himself as productive and precise, says that he is a developer who strongly identifies with Stairon’s motto.

“The machine shop industry is often stuck in its ways and likes to do things according to a familiar pattern. We at Stairon want to challenge the status quo. If you want to succeed in the field, you have to have expertise, a good team , and the ability to create something new. All of these building blocks can be found at Stairon”, he says. 

Toni is looking forward to being able to develop the company’s parts manufacturing operations in particular. Better processes solve both production and customer challenges. Toni mentions that development work should not be based on the joy of development alone. The work should always result in something tangible.

“A good example is a pilot I carried out for Meyer, where we did certain work steps differently. It eventually resulted in big savings for my then employer. Let’s see what great things we can achieve at Stairon!”

The alphabet of a good working life

Toni wants to be not only a developer but also a fair and trusted foreman who helps his team achieve their goals.

“In order for everyone to succeed in their work, we must account for people’s strengths and work on weaknesses. When everyone can do their best, we create strong skills and quality together”, he says.

Taking responsibility and valuing co-workers and shared expertise were the first things Toni noticed in his new job. Working with professionals has also made it easier to settle into the new job.

“People here have long careers and solid professionalism, so it’s easy to be the foreman”, he laughs.

When we ask the 46-year-old expert what is the most important thing working life has taught him, he is quick to answer. “Work, learning something new, and co-workers. Those are the building blocks for a good and well-functioning work community”, he says.

Cooperation between Stairon and Tibnor is as hard as steel

The dynamic duo keeps things working right

Tibnor Area Sales Manager Riku Frigård and Stairon Purchasing Director Joel Sjöberg have worked together since 2016. The shared history of the companies nevertheless extends beyond the careers of these two men.

Tibnor's Area Sales Manager Riku Frigård: “It was easy to start building cooperation.”

“Long-term customer relationships are typical in our field. For the cooperation to be successful, there must be chemistry between people.
I first met Joel together with Kari, my predecessor at Stairon. The masters who preceded me and Joel were retiring in the same year, and up until then I had been learning how to walk in the shoes of a Regional Purchasing Director. We were both young guys, less than 30 years old. After our discussion, the old hands entrusted us with the work. It has been good to move forward from that strong foundation. Joel and I have learned much from each other.
Tibnor’s slogan is We make a difference. We believe in constant development, and we look for new, better solutions together with the customer. Stairon is a good partner for us because they have similar values. Stairon also wants to offer its customers more and to create the best possible added value.
We primarily offer Stairon steel products such as sheet metal and stainless steel. We also have preliminary treatment service. Stairon tells us much about its activities. That way we can better respond to their needs. We also discuss the development of products and operating methods in order to intelligently save working time and materials.
Stairon is enthusiastic about its own activities, and their group exudes a sense of eagerness to get things done. Partners like that are great to work with. In addition to Joel, I have learned to know other people at Stairon. They are all great people, and the work has proceeded well.
Joel and I also do other things together. For example, we play badminton. If you want to go the site, you have to do things right.” 

Stairon Purchasing Director Joel Sjöberg: “We set tough demands and high expectations both for ourselves and our partners.”

”Stairon and Tibnor have worked together for a long time. Although the names of the companies have changed and the operating cultures have developed over the years, the good cooperation has continued.
I came to Stairon in May 2016 after a project abroad to learn from Markku, the Purchaser at the time. I had less than a month to learn the work and to get to know our partners. Tibnor was one of them. Although Riku and I were both new, we were shared a high level of motivation and desire to make the cooperation work.
Working with the same person for four years on almost a weekly basis makes for easy communication. Riku knows what Stairon needs and I know what Tibnor has to offer. Alternating projects and material needs also maintain interest, as they allow us to confront new challenges.
Stairon is an industrial service provider that wants to challenge the self-evident. It means that we are solution-oriented and open to new possibilities. We want to optimise production and our activities to better help our customers. We set stringent demands and expectations both for ourselves and our partners.
As the array of our products truly broad, and as relatively little time is often left for manufacture, we cannot utilise factory orders very often. Thanks to its wide selection, Tibnor is a good steel wholesaler for Stairon. In addition, they can respond to a difficult market situation with competitive prices. Tibnor is also reliable: When they confirm an order I know that the goods will be at Stairon in the Pansio district of Turku at the right time.
I believe that work with Riku and Tibnor will continue in the future as well. Riku does not make empty promises. He is civil, open, and he genuinely wants to advance our cooperation. We occasionally spend time together during our free time. We play badminton, and if the weather is nice, we sometimes sit on the riverbank in Turku.”

Riku Frigård (left) and Joel Sjöberg have worked together since 2016.

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Kari Lintuvuori is passing on skills and knowledge to future experts before retiring

Lead, serve, help. This principle has carried Kari Lintuvuori, now retiring, on his career from a helper to a foreman. In his 45-year career, mainly in Pansio, he has seen many changes in his line of work, and the business in general. Now he is passing on the know-how of a Service Advisor to future experts.

In August 2020, foreman Kari Lintuvuori retired from his job at Stairon’s aluminium department. He has not left Pansio, however. In his new role as a senior advisor, he helps the new supervisory staff. His long career has taught that tacit knowledge must be passed on to the successor.

“This team is a kind of a brotherhood – I couldn’t just suddenly quit it. It takes me seven minutes to drive from home to work. I need to drop in here every now and then to see how things are going”, Kari Lintuvuori explains.

Senior Advisor – part of Stairon’s strategy

Kari Lintuvuori now serves as a Senior Advisor at Stairon. It means that in his retirement, he is committed to the development of the operation as he passes on his expertise to younger  specialists of the future. The role of the Service Advisor and supporting it are part of Stairon’s strategy. Stairon has many experts with long careers, whose know-how is worth its weight in gold. This so-called tacit knowledge is something the company wants to foster.

Project Director Kalle Ahopelto, who has been receiving advice from Kari Lintuvuori, feels that the help of the Senior Advisor is especially important in his own work.

“It has been easier to join the group with an experienced and skilled person as a guide and advisor. I have received thorough answers to every question I have asked, often accompanied by a story from years past that touches upon the subject.”

Information related to carrying out projects is seen as especially helpful in pushing the work forward.

“The greatest benefit has been Kari’s knowledge of what we must and should take into consideration, or what we should do early enough before the start of the project”, Kalle Ahopelto says.

A man taught by his work

During Kari Lintuvuori’s career, his line of work and the business in general have changed dramatically. For example, in the 1970s, military service was tantamount to resigning, which is why the shipyard refused to hire him afterwards. But being a plucky sort of guy, he walked straight to the shop steward and ended up getting a job at the Pansio factory of Valmet Paper Machines. When there was no more work at the packing plant, Kari Lintuvuori asked the department engineer for other work.

“Much like Rokka in the war novel The Unknown Soldier, I asked if they needed someone who could do the job well. I went to Hall 6 where they needed help in welding beams that were 13 metres long.”

Kari Lintuvuori was interested in welding and he went on to complete the training of a welding advisor at Laitila. After that he was hired to weld sheet metal.

“The helper boy system of the 1970s was practical. You could see what kinds of jobs were interesting and you could learn on the job. Gradually, as my skills increased, I got to do the work on my own.”

The 1990s gave Kari Lintuvuori opportunities to work in projects both in Finland and abroad. Paper machines and wood dryers had to be installed and repaired.

In the 1990s Kari Lintuvuori also noticed inadequacies in work planning at the workshop.

“The products were more complicated, and the tolerances were stricter. Working methods needed to be more systematic, and this was achieved through work planning”, he explains.

The group produces the results

In the late 1990s and early 2000s corporate mergers and deals changed the name of the workplace a few times. First, with the merger of Valmet and Rauma in 1999, production was outsourced, and the name was changed to Metso Paper Turku Works. Then in 2009 Metso sold all the shares of the factory to Stairon.

“At that point, product-based teams were established and I was selected to lead one of them.”

Later he was named foreman. Kari Lintuvuori feels that as foreman, the input of the whole team is the most important.

“It’s the team that produces the result. And the work ethic here is high. The task of the supervisory staff is to supervise, serve, and help”, he says.

Kari Lintuvuori believes that his extensive career experience helped him as a supervisor.

“It is important to understand the big picture and to know how things operate in practice. Taking my own path has been important. The work taught me. During my career I had more than ten different kinds of supervisors, one of whom served as an example to me. I also wanted to be a good example and pass on the tradition”, he says.

Kari Lintuvuori (right) helps project manager Kalle Ahopelto solve challenges faced by a supervisor.

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